Your free what's on guide to the NT

Les Moutons

Three healthy ewes and a ram from the CORPUS production Les Moutons are preparing to make themselves at home at Festival Park.

By Tamara Howie

The show has been an international success and Darwin Festival-goers can get up close and personal with the woolly creatures.

Artistic director David Danzon spoke to Off The Leash about what’s made the show such a huge international success since its inception in 2003.

Where did the idea come from and, of all the animals on the planet, why sheep?
We started with very little – the starting point was a shepherd’s hat. I pulled it out during a studio session and it was used as a prop for improvisation. We were first interested in exploring the symbiotic relationship between a shepherd and a sheep.

Then came the idea of forming a flock of sheep with more performers. Finally we created an installation with a sheep pen and audience all around.

What kind of show did you want to create?
Our interest – and challenge – was to create a show in which practically nothing happens. Studying sheep behaviour became our main focus. We worked in great detail to re- create not just sheep behaviour, but the experience of watching sheep itself.

"Sheep don’t move much. What a fantastic animal to inhabit for dancers!"

How can people interact with the sheep?
We let the audience decide. We let them behave the same way they would behave at a farm, or petting zoo. They can pet or feed them, or just watch.

What’s the trick to pulling off a convincing sheep?
The breath, the stare, the chewing, the being, sitting, standing, walking, scratching, eating. It takes tremendous concentration and focus for the performers to stay in “character”.

Hardest of all is to stay perfectly relaxed and serious, or emotion-free.

What is it about the show that’s made it so successful and resonate with so many people around the world?
It’s light and funny, weird and disturbing, random and profound all at the same time, in equal measure. It’s a wordless performance.

It’s a mysterious piece that invites people to make up their own conclusions. Spectators become actors without realising it. Children and adults both get a kick out of it.


See the event listing.

Share this